Choosing a Zimmer (pronounced tsimmer) or B&B in North Israel can be a challenge - there are so many to choose from! If you've never stayed in one before, here is some basic information in order that you know what to expect.
Basically, it's a B&B (bed and breakfast) - but with an Israeli twist!
There are literally hundreds of them in the Galilee and the Golan. Some people have built one or two guest rooms as an additional source of income and many Kibbutzim and Moshavim (farming settlements) offer country lodgings on a larger scale and generally have swimming pools and amenities for the children.
The accommodations are usually rustic, quite often made of wood or natural stone, and the emphasis is on getting close to nature. Green Tourism is something that is growing slowly in Israel and there are already several eco-friendly lodgings in the north (and the south) of the country.
As more and more zimmers have sprung up all over North Israel, the competition to have the most beautiful boutique Holiday Accommodation with the best amenities or the most original theme has grown.
But you will find that even the most basic cabin has everything found in a regular hotel room. Including things like soap, shampoo, towels, sheets and blankets and utensils for making coffee and tea. You may also have a small refrigerator and microwave.Most will also include plastic ware, hot water urn and Shabbat platter for Religious Guests.
You may be in the countryside, but you are definitely not cut off from the rest of the world! There's usually satellite or cable TV, a DVD and free Internet connection.
Many accommodations have a jacuzzi inside and some have an outdoor hot tub and/or a swimming pool. The Galilee is a great place to chill out and unwind and many places offer wellness treatments.
Take the opportunity to pamper yourself with a relaxing hot stones massage, shiatsu, reflexology or any other spa therapy of your choice!
A full Israeli breakfast is sometimes optional but well worth the few extra shekels - around 100 ILS and you will quite possibly get much more than is possible to eat!
Breakfast generally a combination of:
... and may also include a delectable selection of home-made specialties or local delicacies depending on the location. EMAIL for Free Recipes!
Generally, your breakfast will be brought to your cabin or guest room. It is such a treat to eat it on the balcony ~ enjoy the fresh air, take in the breathtaking views ...
On a Kibbutz, breakfast may be served in the kibbutz members dining room.
Some Holiday Zimmers will have a kitchenette for making light meals or even sometimes an area for an outdoor barbecue.
But seriously, if you're on Holiday - take a Holiday from your kitchen! One of the best things about going away is NOT having to prepare your own meals, clean your own kitchen, do you dishes and take out your garbage ...
You will enjoy a wide variety of Cool Eateries serving local delicacies around the Galilee. Many of them are reasonably-priced if you get away from the tourist spots.
This is much like the question, "How long is a piece of string?"
Available in a wide variety of styles and price ranges, you can certainly find something to suit your taste and pocketbook.
Rates are usually quoted per room - double, triple or family rooms. There maybe an addition for children sharing a room. Some places include breakfast in the price and some don't. Tourists holding foreign passports arriving from abroad don't have to pay VAT, whereas Israeli citizens do.
In recent years "luxury" zimmers have become very popular. So, if you're looking for privacy but want the comfort of a deluxe hotel, you can expect to pay just a bit more - but get the best!